Why chickens eat their eggs: what to do, how to wean


In winter, poultry farmers may be surprised to notice that eggs in a chicken coop are broken or even eaten, but there is no one to spoil them besides chickens. Such a problem may occur at other times of the year, but it happens much less frequently, because in spring and summer birds get enough vitamins, walk a lot and peck at the ground.

To cope with an unexpected disaster, you must first try to identify the cause.

Why do chickens peck eggs?

Sometimes you can hear from poultry farmers that chickens just love eggs because it's delicious. Once accidentally tried, the birds can no longer deny themselves a treat. It is impossible to explain to the chicken that she is wrong, and by her act she sets a bad example to the whole herd.

In this case, the aggressor is allowed for meat. This version and method has the right to exist, but the reasons often lie on a different plane:

  • Calcium deficiency. In this case, the chicken eats the shell and has little interest in the contents. The egg itself is thin or soft-shelled.
  • Lack of protein in the diet. This reason often occurs in the winter. In the warm season, walking around the yard, the bird eats worms and insects, replenishing protein reserves. In winter, vegetable fodder deficiency of proteins occurs, which the chicken tries to fill by eating its egg.
  • Vitamin D deficiency. In winter, there is little sunlight, so there is a lack of vitamin D. Symptoms for which you can notice:
    • eggs with a soft or fragile shell,
    • penguin pose
    • softened beak and claws
    • strange or lame walk, swollen joints.
  • Tight nest. If the nest is improperly installed: too close or in bright light, birds may be nervous or stomp eggs. They accidentally beat or crack, and the hens happily peck up a delicacy. If there are few nests or they are unsuccessfully located, then one of them will have a queue while the others are empty. Without waiting for the bird to fly directly on the floor, then there is a risk that the product will be crushed by roosters or girlfriends in the hen house.
  • Inexperienced pullet. The first experience of carrying may cause a layer to be confused. She does not know what to do, and is trying to turn and peck the egg. If there are adults nearby, the young will repeat the actions behind them and will not try to produce.
  • Lack of movement. When the chicken has nowhere to warm up and peck at the grass and insects, it begins to peck at the eggs. This problem often arises in winter: there is no grass in the yard, and severe frosts do not contribute to full walks.

Change diet

If the chicken eagerly sprinkles on the shell, it needs to add calcium. Some poultry farmers are advised to grind for this purpose eggshells. This will help with vitamins, but will not get rid of the habit of pecking an egg. The chicken does not understand how the shell that you give it is different from the one it just laid. Soon she will happily satisfy her need further. If you still decide to use this advice, you need to wash the shells, dry and grind into flour, and then thoroughly mix with the feed.

The best way out in this situation is feed with meat and bone meal and chalk stones, that need to place on the chicken coop everywhere except nests. Milled river shells are often added. If you do not have enough protein - you need to use fish or meat milled waste, low-fat cottage cheese. 5-7 days after the change of diet and sufficient intake of vitamins, the chicken will no longer be interested in eggs. If you do not have enough vitamin D, pick up at the pet store food and drugs that will compensate for the lack. You can add fish oil.

Expand Aviary

In order for the chicken to come running in and out, and it was no longer interesting to eat eggs, the walking yard should be quite large. On average, 1 hectare per 4 birds is considered the minimum rate for chickens, but the larger the aviary, the better they feel. If you make a shelter above the place for walking, then in winter there will be almost no snow, and in summer you can peck plenty even in the rain.


If the hens show aggression and nothing helps, their beak is cut. This way is criticized by animal advocates, because it is associated with pain: the bird experiences pain while pecking and tries once more without the need to not touch hard objects with its beak. The method is used mainly in poultry farms and rarely at home.

Make a fake egg

This method is used if the previous ones were not successful. A fake product can be done in several ways:

  • From salt dough - children make from such crafts. You need to take a glass of water, dissolve a glass of salt in it and add a glass of flour. When the mass is ready, take a volume approximately equal to a chicken egg and mold from it a dummy that will deceive the bird.
  • To stay an attractive smell take a real egg and pierce with a needle. Using a syringe with a thick needle, the liquid is pulled out, and instead must be poured mustard, diluted vinegar or pepper. It is important to ensure that the ingredients are unpleasant, but are edible and do not damage the birds. When a chicken decides to peck an egg, it will not like the taste, it will develop a reflex that will get rid of the habits unpleasant for the poultry farmer in about three days.

Why do they often practice artificial molting of chickens at poultry farms? We told about it here.

How to properly ovoskopirovaniya hatching eggs? All the details in our article.

Prevention of slander eggs

To prevent damage to the clutches, you can pre-spread on the chicken coop dummies or plastic balls. This will help young birds who want to taste their product to satisfy their curiosity. The decoys are usually put on the floor, not in the nest. Some breeds of chickens are prone to pecking more than others: oviparous do it more often than meat, and white less often than birds with a different color.

The reasons why chickens peck their eggs are usually easy to install. If you look closely at the behavior of the bird, take into account its age, breed, diet, you can find a solution and save the hen from the habit of spoiling products for 3-7 days.


It's no secret that chickens, like people, most of the nutrients and all the ingredients necessary for life, are obtained from food. By maintaining the balance in the diet, you can add the maximum performance of chickens in the egg-laying, as well as maintain their health and protect against disease.

However, violations in the diet, especially if they are systematic, lead not only to a decrease in egg production, but also to the appearance of various pathologies.

The most common form of anomalies in the clutch is the exorcism of laid eggs. In order to avoid this, or to wean chickens from pecking eggs, simply adjust the diet. What exactly should contain the diet of feathered herds for excellent laying and prevent biting? Consider.

  1. Foods rich in carbohydrates: wheat, corn, rye, oats.
  2. Protein products of animal and vegetable origin.
  3. Minerals (in the form of special preparations, chalk, crushed seashells, salt).
  4. Vitamins (greens, vegetables, nutritional supplements).

Depending on the type of productivity, an appropriate diet is built. Chicken oviparous and meaty type need enhanced protein nutrition during active laying, as well as increased dosage of mineral and vitamin supplements. If one of the components is missing in the diet, the hens begin to peck at their eggs, trying to get the substances they need.

Using eggshell as a mineral supplement

It is not a secret for anyone that the eggshells contain high concentrations of calcium, as well as other trace elements that are beneficial to health.

Therefore, sometimes poultry farmers use ground or powdered shell as a natural mineral additive.

This is actually a huge mistake.. Kuram will benefit from such a product - it is really able to fill the need for some minerals. But, contrary to popular belief, hens are smart enough creatures to remember the flavor and taste of such an additive and then try to get it on their own from their own, freshly laid eggs.

Crowded and crowded

When settling the hens in the poultry house and arranging a walking yard for them, it is necessary to take into account the number of individuals.

Recommended settlement of hens at the rate of 4-5 individuals per square meter, if the bird is a larger breed, then a maximum of 3 individuals in the same area.

Place on the roost is also distributed at the rate of 2-3 layers per meter of beam. The tightness and crowding negatively affects the psyche of chickens and provokes various behavioral problems. Besides the fact that chickens may begin to eat their eggs, outbreaks of aggression and conflicts are not excluded.

Well-equipped nests in sufficient quantities - the key to successful egg-laying. As a rule, 5-6 laying hens need one nest.

Nests should be equipped in a secluded corner of the house, be closed, dark and comfortable.

The nest should be covered with a thick layer of hay, sawdust or straw, so that the eggs that were laid down are not broken.

If there are few nests, or they are located in a generally accessible place, the hens can start pecking at their eggs, as well as those that have been torn down by their relatives. It is important to build nests with all the requirements, then the chickens will not show interest in their eggs.

Due to their calm nature, it is also possible to keep chickens in cages. This type of housing is most often practiced by poultry farms engaged in the production of hens on an industrial scale.

The cellular battery has its advantages, but some birds do not tolerate living in an enclosed space, which is why they spend extra energy on sabotage themselves and their eggs.

Seasonal moult

One of the reasons chickens eat their eggs is seasonal shedding. But, this concerns only those rocks that retain active clutch for this period.

Usually molting chickens do not rush - these are natural, protective mechanisms, because the process of renewing the plumage depletes the body.

But, if the clutch is preserved for the period of molting, eating eggs indicates that a deficiency of vitamins and minerals has developed in the herd. The problem can be solved by introducing in the diet of mineral and vitamin supplements, fish oil and other products that meet the needs of depleted avian organisms.

Pests in the herd

In those cases, if all the rules of keeping are observed, the chickens get a full and balanced diet, but they still peck eggs, we can talk about pests in the herd.

One or two hens can set a bad example for the entire population, teaching them to peck eggs.

Identifying such violators of order is quite difficult, but the sooner this is done, the easier it will be to eliminate the effects of sabotage.

What to do with the identified offenders? In some cases, it helps temporary isolation with enhanced nutrition, installation of snares (wooden eggs or tennis balls). But, sometimes it is not possible to wean the bird from sabotage even after such a peculiar rehabilitation course. In this case, the only way out is to send the chicken for slaughter.

How to wean chickens to peck their eggs?

Having discovered the problem of putting eggs in the house, it is necessary to act quickly, as the delay only worsens the situation and later it will be more difficult to reed the eggs that are used to taste. There are several ways to influence a chicken that eats its eggs.

  1. A very popular way of dealing with a crawling in the people is laying eggs-blenders with tasteless contents.. As a rule, mustard is used as a filling. It is very simple to prepare such a snag - you need to make holes on both sides in an ordinary chicken egg, remove the whites and yolks from it, wash and fill with mustard. In the literal sense, the “bitter” experience will become a feat for the feathered violator - chickens quickly pick up a causal link, and learn a lesson in a couple of educational sessions.
  2. Arrange the nests in the dark - if the light does not penetrate there, it will be difficult for the birds to make out the eggs laid and the risk of hatching will be minimal.
  3. Put a wooden egg or golf balls painted in a light shade into the nests. From the second or third time the chicken will understand that pecking such an item is useless.
  4. In a pinch, you can debose - trim the beak.. Usually such a procedure is carried out at an early age - for chickens up to seven days. But, sometimes veterinarians perform debuse and adult individuals.

It is much easier to prevent the chaffing of eggs than to deal with the consequences of the unhealthy interest of chickens in their own eggs. Therefore, follow the basic rules of feeding, growing and keeping, watch the behavior of the birds, and many problems can be avoided!

Local breeders - finding beginner poultry farmers

Good afternoon, Daming. Your question is understandable, but, unfortunately, it is difficult for us to give you an accurate and clear answer. Everything is complicated by the fact that you live far away and we can’t say which farms or private farms breed these chickens in your country in Kazakhstan.

You need to contact the local breeders who grow birds of different breeds. Many of them are at exhibitions and various events of poultry farmers, so they can suggest something to whom to turn. One could still look for farms. But these breeds are more privately oriented, therefore they are unlikely to be used on large poultry farms.

Egg shipment

The only thing we can advise, if you don’t find any breeders in your region, is to use the service of sending eggs. We know that in our country this is practiced and sent to neighboring countries. It is often possible to find sellers of hatching eggs of chickens of different breeds on the Internet on forums and trading platforms. We are sure that you will also be able to find P11 and B33. Unfortunately, we can’t suggest anything more specific.

Why did condensate begin to collect on the bottom of the incubator Layer BI1 BI2? I do not know for sure whether it is BI1 or BI2. The incubator itself was bought in 2015, it was laid twice and hatched normally. And this year, laid the third time. Self incubator for 104 eggs with a manual coup, with 6 grooves under the water. We poured all 6 tanks last year, and we did it this year, but this year we noticed that drops are hanging under the bottom and from time to time you have to wipe the water next to the incubator. Last year it did not catch the eye. (Elena Samokhina)

Damage to the case - the main reason

Hello, Elena. Let's say right away that there are a lot of complaints about these models of incubators and enough people are dealing with similar problems. Here, as they say, as lucky.

You have not seen this before and problems with the device arose after operation? This is most likely already due to hull damage or a violation of the internal microclimate. For example, there may be a disturbance in the ventilation or in maintaining the humidity level. In any case, you need to check everything, so in absentia, without seeing the device, it is difficult to say what happened to him.

If the cause and damage is not eliminated, it can disrupt the required microclimate, for example, by increasing the humidity in the incubator.

How to calculate an egg eater?

To identify egg-eaters have to check every chicken, or rather her head and beak. At the culprit on the beak and feathers of the head, you can easily detect the dried yolk.

If you do not find an egg eater for pollution around the beak, try making a false egg. A false egg is made easy - you need to empty the shell from the protein and yolk, as described above, and fill it with food coloring. Then everything is simple - the egg eater will be painted in the color of the paint with which you filled the false egg. As soon as you see this Chingachguka, immediately send it to the pan.